I'm trying to put a table in the header of a document. In this document, width of the header is larger than the text body. The header needs to be exactly 183 mm wide and, in it, there is a table 183 mm wide with the width of the columns of 70, 93 and 20 mm. So I set the document as this

\fancyheadoffset[L]{0.9cm} %header offset
\fancyheadoffset[R]{0.9cm} %header offset

whith those settings (and other that I've omitted) the width of the header is 183 mm (correct!)

Then I try to put the table in the header

first & second & third\\

This results in a table whose cells are wider than the value that I've used (something like 4 mm wider) and I have an overfull warning. For example, only to be clear, the first column is 74 mm wide rather than 70. I think that the difference is due to the fact that with p{70mm} I set the text width and not the column width and this give me a small offset on both margins (in fact there is a little space between the column line and the first letter).

Is there a way to set the column width as the distance between the two lines? Otherwise, I need to decrease the width of the columns of a few millimeters resulting in a less precise work.


  • How wide is the textblock? What's the significance of the 0.9cm header offsets? – Mico Nov 26 '16 at 19:10

You need to subtract 2\tabcolsep from each column like this:

first & second & third\\

But this method will leave some space before and after the first and last columns, respectively. If you want to remove that space use this column specification:

| improve this answer | |
  • Note that the tabular env. has 4 vertical rules. If the array package is loaded -- which is quite often the case automatically, esp if packages such as tabularx are loaded -- one also needs to subtract 1.333\arrayrulewidth (default value of \arrayrulewidth: 0.4pt) as well. Separately, I don't think the second solution (the one without padding at the outer edges, "works" if there's a vertical rule at the left-hand edge. – Mico Nov 26 '16 at 18:26

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